With historical monuments to explore and quiet gardens for contemplation, there’s plenty to fill downtime in Nanjing. Make the most of this beautiful Chinese city with our guide on how best to occupy free time between your business meetings in Nanjing.
Unwind in the tranquility of Xuanwu Lake
An oasis of calm in the heart of the city, Xuanwu Lake is the largest imperial lake garden in China. Bordered by neatly manicured lawns, meandering pathways and weeping willows drooping gracefully at the water’s edge, it’s worlds away from Nanjing’s hectic bustle. Five islands are connected by traditional arched bridges, making for a scenic stroll, and its serene surroundings are an ideal spot to plot up on a bench and take breather between appointments.
Enjoy a coffee at Sculpting in Time
A hip hangout that’s as popular with Nanjing’s trend-setting community as it is with business professionals, Sculpting in Time serves some of the best coffee in the city. Think; steaming hot caramel macchiatos and thick-foamed cappuccinos. The ambience is relaxed and stylish with retro furniture, exposed floorboards and shelf after shelf of magazines to flick through. Menus at Sculpting in Time are in English, making it easy to order.
Get lost wandering around Confucius Temple
Less a temple and more a vast complex, the historic sprawl of Confucius Temple is dedicated to the ancient Chinese philosopher. Majestically perched on both banks of the Qinhuai River, the site comprises stately pagodas housing bronze statues and jade panels depicting Confucius’ life. An ideal reset between business meetings in Nanjing, spend some time soaking up the heady atmosphere of its surrounding alleyways, populated with street food stalls and souvenir shops.
Peruse literature at Librairie Avant-Garde
Housed in an old, underground car park, the incredible Librairie Avant-Garde is a bookstore quite unlike any other. According to CNN, this quirky literary spot is ‘China’s most beautiful bookshop’ and it’s easy to see why. The cavernous, contemporary space is home to an extraordinary array of tomes – even the cash register is made out of books. Giant sofas invite you to pause for a while as you thumb through whatever page-turner catches your eye. You’ll find everything from classic Western novels to Chinese social science at Librairie Avant-Garde, making this a perfect perch to while away a few hours between business meetings in Nanjing.
Get a bird’s-eye view from Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum
Towering high over Nanjing on Purple Mountain, Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum is one of the city’s most commanding monuments. The final resting place of Dr Sun Yat-sen – father of the Republic of China – the mausoleum is deeply significant place for locals and a grandiose piece of architecture. It’s reached by scaling 392 steps, but the dizzying climb is rewarded with a mesmerising view across the mountain’s lush carpet of trees and greenery.
On the Yangtze River’s south bank in Nanjing’s new Hexi Central Business District, the Zaha Hadid-designed Jumeirah Nanjing is perfect for business stays in the city.